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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



MakejProjects 



Ice Tube Clock Kit 

Written By: Nick Brenn 



PARTS: 

Icetube Clock kit (includes all parts needed) (1) 

IV-1 8 vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) tube (1) 

ATmega168V-10PU Microcontroller (1) 

VFD driver in PLCC-28 package (1) 

7805 Voltage Regulator (1) 

32.768 KHz. 12.5 pF watch crystal (1) 

N-Channel HEXFET (1) 

P-channel MOSFET(1) 

60V breakdown Schottky Diode (4) 

60V zener diode (1) 

200mA fuse (1) 

2200uH power inductor. >0.2A current capability (1) 

1/4W 5% 1 0K resistor (1) 

1/4W 5% 270K resistor (1) 

1/4W 5% 100K resistor (1) 

1/4W 5% 22 resistor (1) 

20pF ceramic capacitor (2) 

0.1 uF ceramic capacitor (104) (3) 



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Tube Clock Kit 

0.1 uF ceramic capacitor 100V (1) 
22uF/ 100V Electrolytic Capacitor (1) 
47uF / 25V Electrolytic Capacitor (2) 
220uF/6.3V capacitor (1) 
2.1mm Power Jack (1) 
28-PLCC socket (1) 
28-pin socket (1) 

6 pin header, 0.1"x0.1" spacing (1) 
Right angle SPDT switch (1) 
Right angle tactile switch (1) 
2x10 position 0.1" x 0.1" female header (1) 
2x10 position 0.1" x 0.1" right angle header (1) 
Piezo Speaker (1) 
12mm 3V lithium coin cell (1) 
• 12mm Coin Cell Holder (1) 
Adafrut Circuit Boards (1) 



SUMMARY 

Build the most unique clock on the market, featuring a retro Russian display tube and a clear 
plastic case so you can appreciate the inner workings of this fantastic gadget! 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 1 — Gather your Materials 




• Open up the Ice Tube Clock Kit box. Begin by separating the individual components of the 
kit. 

• Gather the printed circuit board and the electronic components to be soldered in. 

• Save the enclosure pieces and the screws for use once the circuit is soldered and ready. 

Step 2 — Begin with the DC Jack 









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• The DC Jack is the connector for your external power adapter. 

• There are three holes for the DC Jack, so place it in the holes and turn the circuit board 
over. It may be necessary to tape it to the board to make sure it remains in place when 
you turn the board over to solder. 

• Be sure that the solder joint is full and strong. You will be pushing the adapter in and out of 
here, so it is important for it to be sturdy. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 3 — Distinguishing Between the Yellow Components 




• There are three ceramic 
capacitors, marked with a 104. 

• There is a 1 00V capacitor that has 
a 2.5mm spacing with kinked 
leads. This must be distinguished 
from the fuse, which has wider 
spacing, at 5mm, and a larger 
yellow head. 

• Refer to the image to make sure 
you know which component is 
which. The component on the far 
left is the fuse. The component in 
the middle is one of three 0.1 uF 
electrolytic capacitors, and the one 
on the right is a 100V capacitor. 



Step 4 — Insert the Fuse 




In location F1, insert the fuse, which is the yellow component with the 5mm lead spacing. 
It is placed next to the jack, but make sure that it sits above the PCB and not flush. This 
ensures that the fuse has enough room for air to circulate around it. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 5 — Clip your Leads! 




• Clean up the long leads of your 
components by clipping the leads 
after you solder them. 



Step 6 — Insert Two of the Protection Diodes 






• Included in the kit are four protection diodes. Gather two of them and insert them in 
locations D1 and D2. 

• Be sure that the silver stripe on the diode matches up with the stripe on the silk-screened 
image on the PCB. 

• Solder them in, and then clip the leads. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 7 — Inserting the 7805 Voltage Regulator 




• In location IC3, insert the 7805, the 5V regulator. 

• Bend the legs so that they are at a 90-degree angle. 

• Lay the component down on the PCB so that it matches up with the outline on the PCB. 

• To keep it in place, solder one pin on top of the board, then turn it over and solder all three 
pins. 

• Clip the leads when they are all soldered in. 

Step 8 — Insert the 47uF/25V Electrolytic Capacitor 




• In location C2, correctly insert the electrolytic capacitor. You can see the specs on the 
side of the capacitor. 

• This capacitor is polarized, so insert the longer lead into the hole marked with a "+". 

• Solder it in, and clip the leads. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 9 — Insert the 220uF/6.3V Electrolytic Capacitor 




• In location C4, insert the 220uF/6.3V electrolytic capacitor. This capacitor is also polarized 
so insert the longer lead into the hole marked with the "+". 

• Solder it in and then clip the leads. 

Step 10 — Insert Two of the O.luF Capacitors 




• In locations C1 and C3, insert the small yellow 0.1 uF capacitors (marked with a "104"). 

• These are the yellow capacitors without the kinked leads. Solder them in and then clip their 
leads. 

• It does not matter which direction you insert these capacitors. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 11 — Your First Test! 




• Begin by plugging in your power adapter. 

• Get a multimeter and set it to measure DC voltages. 

• Place the black test lead on the grounded silver tab of the 7805 Voltage Regulator. Place 
the red test lead on the bottom-most pin on the voltage regulator. The meter should read 
between 7V and 13V. 

• Now we can check the 5V regulator. Place the black test lead on the same spot as before. 
Place the red test lead on the top-most regulator pin. The multimeter should read between 
4.7V and 5.2V. 

• If your tests are not showing the proper result, then check to make sure all of your solder 
joints are nicely soldered. 

• Unplug your power source before beginning soldering again! 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 12 — Insert the 270K Resistor 




t In location R1, insert the 270K resistor (the one with color code red-purple-yellow). 
• Resistors are not polarized, so you can insert them in any direction. Solder it in and then 
clip the leads. 



Step 13 — Insert the Piezo Beeper 




• In the location SPK, insert the 
piezo beeper. It is not polarized so 
it does not matter which direction 
you place it in. 

• This is the alarm! Solder it in and 
then clip the leads. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 14 — Place the IC Socket 













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• The IC Sockets have a notch on one end. Make sure this notch matches up with the notch 
that is silk-screened onto the PCB. 

• You can bend a couple of the leads on the socket to make sure it stays in place when you 
are soldering it. Try to keep it as flush to the PCB as possible. 

• Carefully solder the pins, being sure not to bridge any solder joints on the socket. 



Step 15 — Insert the Chip 




• The chips don't fit perfectly into the 
socket right away, so it is often 
necessary to bend the pins slightly 
in order for them to fit into the 
socket. 

• Make sure that the end of the chip 
with a notch is inserted into the 
side of the socket with the notch. 
After you double-check this, just 
press the chip into the socket. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 16 — Your Second Test 




• Just plug in the power adapter and 
you will hear a beep. If you do not 
hear a beep, then check to make 
sure all of your components are 
soldered correctly and are in the 
correct locations. 



Step 17 — Insert the lOOkOhm Resistor 




• In location R2, insert the resistor with the color code Brown-Black-Yellow. 

• Solder it in and then clip the leads. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 18 — Insert the Remaining O.luF Capacitor 




• The remaining yellow capacitor 
without kinked leads should be 
inserted into location C10. 

• It does not matter which direction 
you insert the capacitor, so just 
solder it in and then clip the leads. 



Step 19 — Insert the 10K Resistor 




• In location R5, insert the 10K resistor (color code brown-black-orange). Bend its leads as 
shown in the image. The gold stripe end should be the lower end of the resistor. 

• Solder it in and then clip the leads. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 20 — Insert the 32.768KHz Clock Crystal 









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In location Q1, insert the 32.768KHz clock crystal. It does not matter which direction you 

insert the crystal. 

Solder it in and then clip the leads. 



Step 21 — Insert the 20pF Capacitors 




• In locations C8 and C9, insert the 
20pF capacitors. 

• Make sure that you insert the 
capacitors correctly, and within the 
small box that outlines the two 
holes. If you insert them 90 
degrees the other way, they won't 
work. 

• Refer to the image, and 
solder the leads and clip the 
leads. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 22 — Insert the 47uF/25V Capacitor 




• In location C7, insert the 47uF/25V capacitor. 

• As with the other electrolytic capacitor, be sure to insert it in the correct direction. 

• Solder this capacitor in, and then clip the leads. 

Step 23 — Insert the High-Voltage Transistor 



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s Two of the pins on the transistor are bridged, so match these up with the bridged image on 

the silk-screened PCB. 
i Solder the transistor in, and clip the leads if necessary. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 24 — Inserting Another Diode 




t In location D3, insert another black diode. Make sure that the silver stripe matches up with 

the stripe on the silk-screened PCB. 
i Solder it in and then clip the leads. 



Step 25 — Insert the large 100V Capacitor 




• In location C6, insert the large 
100V capacitor. Since it is 
polarized, make sure it is inserted 
correctly. 

• Solder it in and then clip the leads. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 26 — Insert the Inductor 




• In location L1, insert the large black inductor. 

• The inductor is not polarized so it does not matter which direction you put it in. 

• Solder it in and then clip the leads. 

Step 27 — Insert the 60V Zener Diode 



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• In location D5, insert the diode with a black stripe and red-colored body. Make sure that 
the black stripe matches up with the white stripe on the silk-screened image on the PCB. 

• Solder it in and then clip the leads. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 28 — Testing the Boost Converter 




• Plug in the board, but do not touch 
the right-hand side of the PCB. 

• Place your multimeter on the 
60VDC measuring scale. 

• Touch the black test lead of the 
multimeter to the large tab of the 
7805 regulator. Touch the red lead 
to the striped end of the diode. You 
should measure around 60VDC. It 
is allowed to be between 40- 
70VDC. 

• If your measured voltage is 
75VDC, then check your power 
supply in the wall. You may need to 
use a power supply with a lower 
voltage rating. 

• Do not continue if your measured 
voltage is above 75VDC. 



Step 29 — Continuing the Testing 

• Now unplug the power adapter while keeping the test leads on the same spots. 

• The measured voltage will drift down slowly, and once it reaches around 15VDC you can 
safely return to working on the project. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 30 — Insert the Remaining 100V Capacitor 





t The remaining yellow capacitor with the kinked leads and 2.5mm lead spacing should be 

inserted into location C5. 
■ It is not polarized so it does not matter which direction you place it in. Solder it in and then 

clip the leads. 



Step 31 — Inserting the PLCC Socket 




• This is a very important step, so make sure you carefully read the instructions. 

• In the bottom left corner you will see there is a flattened edge in the silkscreen. 

• When you place the socket, make sure you place it so that the corner that is flattened 
goes in the bottom left. 

• Double-check this before you solder! It will be very difficult to fix if it is not placed 
in correctly! 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 32 — Insert the 220hm Resistor 




In location R3, insert the resistor with color code Red- Red- Black. 
Solder it in and then clip the leads. 



Step 33 — Insert the MOSFET Transistor 




• In location Q3, insert the transistor 
with the flat end of the transistor 
matched with the flat side of the 
silk-screened image. 

• Solder it in and then clip the leads. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 34 — Insert the 2x10 Female Header 



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The sockets should be facing up, and make sure that it is flush with the PCB before 
soldering. 



Step 35 — Inserting the Small PCB Headers 






• Pay close attention to the images and the instructions. You must get this step correct in 
order to have a properly-fitting clock. 

• Begin with the slik-screened side of the PCB facing up. 

• Place the right-angle headers into the PCB as shown in the image. 

• Make sure that the headers are sitting as flat as possible, and are sturdily attached to the 
PCB. 

• Once you know that they have been inserted correctly, solder the headers in. 

• Make sure that you have everything in this step soldered and placed correctly. It 
will be very difficult to fix if you move on with the headers incorrectly placed. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 36 — Unwrapping the Tube 




• Carefully unwrap the tube from the packaging. 

• Begin by finding the wires near the front that are not connected to anything inside of the 
tube. 

• Separate these three wires from the rest. 

Step 37 — Working with the Tube 




• Take the three wires that you just separated and thread them through the three holes 
marked Display NC. 

• Make sure that the wires are not crossed. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 38 — Working with the Tube (cont.) 




• Thread the remaining wires through so they pass straight through and are not crossed or 
bent. 

• Every wire will have a corresponding hole to insert it into. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 39 — Working with the Tube (cont.) 




• Now straighten the wires with 
pliers, and slide the PCB within a 
couple of millimeters of the tube. 

• This process is difficult, and 
you must take care in 

working with the wires. Gently pull 
the bent wires, and carefully slide 
the PCB down to the base of the 
tube. 

• If you find it too difficult you may 
find that cutting the wires at an 
angle (i.e. cutting the wires so that 
the profile looks like "/") makes 
things easier. That way you can fit 
one wire in at a time. 

• Before you solder the wires, plug 
the assembly into the main PCB 
and make any adjustments 
necessary to make the tube fit 
straight and secure. When the 
enclosure is finished, you will be 
able to make the tube straight at 
that point as well. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 40 — Working with the Tube (cont.) 




• Bend the wires and then carefully solder each wire. 

• Once all of the wires are soldered in, you can clip the leads. 



Step 41 — Plug in the VFD Chip 




• There is a flat corner on the 
MAX6921 chip that must be 
matched up with the flat corner on 
the chip's socket. 

• Once you have this matched up, 
press the chip into the socket. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 42 — One More Test! 




• Now plug the tube into the socket 
on the PCB, turn the lights off, and 
then plug in the power adapter. 

• You should see some numbers 
show up on the display. If the 
numbers do not show up, check to 
make sure your soldering is good 
and the components are inserted 
correctly; especially the VFD chip. 

• Wait a few seconds after 
unplugging the adapter, and then 
you can move on to finish the 
soldering. 



Step 43 — Installing the Battery Holder 




• Deposit a small bit of solder on the middle tab of the battery holder. 

• Place the battery holder into place, and then solder the two leads on the other side of the 
PCB. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 44 — Insert the Final Diode 




• In location D4, insert the remaining 
diode with the sliver stripe matched 
up with the silver stripe on the silk- 
screened PCB. 

• Solder it in and then clip the leads. 



Step 45 — Insert the Switches 




• In locations SW1, S1, S2, and S3, insert the switches. The push-button switches are all 
the same, so it does not matter which one goes where. However, make sure that the slide 
switch is inserted into SW1. 

• Make sure that they are all flush with the PCB before you solder them in and move on. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 46 — Building the Enclosure 







• Now that you have finished all of the necessary soldering for the PCB, it is time to build 
the enclosure and finish the clock! 

• Gather the laser-cut acrylic pieces, remove their paper backing, and poke out all of the 
hole bits left over from the laser-cutting process. 



Step 47 — Building the Enclosure (Part I) 




• Carefully place two 4-40 screws into the two small holes on the front plate. This is a 
symmetrical plate. 

• Screw the hex nuts on so that they are just below the end of the screw. 

• Do the same to the other plate. This plate is not symmetrical, so take a look at the image 
to make sure you have the screws inserted correctly. 

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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 48 — Building the Enclosure (Part II) 




• Next, place two 4-40 screws through the two holes in the PCB from the top side, and 
fasten them securely with two hex nuts. 

• Place the PCB on the bottom plate. It will fit only one way. Use two more hex nuts to hold 
the bottom plate in place. 

Step 49 — Building the Enclosure (Part III) 




• Next, place the back plate onto the assembly and align the holes and enclosure guides. 

• Flip the two pieces over and place the front on top. 

• Place the side piece with a hole in it on the side that has the free end of the tube. 

• The hex nuts will easily slide into the T-slots in the plastic. Do the same for the other side 
as well. 



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Ice Tube Clock Kit 



Step 50 — Building the Enclosure (Part IV) 



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• Set the clock upright and place the remaining two hex nuts into the sides on the top. 

• Place the top piece and align the hex nuts with the T-slots. 

• Now tighten down all of the screws, and you will be finished! 



Step 51 — Finishing Touches! 

• Congratulations! You have finished building your Ice Tube clock! 

• Setting instructions are on the bottom plate of the clock. Plug it in, and enjoy! 

last generated on 2012-11-01 09:37:06 PM. 



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